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Eggs Incubators Linked to Poultry Diseases

A call has been made to the government to develop a clear policy that regulates poultry farming to reduce zoonotic diseases and cut costs during adoption of new technology.

This comes after it has been observed by stakeholders that lack of training and unhygienic handling of egg incubators has contributed to the spread of poultry diseases across counties.

Veterinary experts are concerned that diseases, which were never in some counties are now emerging and that instead of the machines supporting farmers they are generating more problems.

Dr Humphrey Mbugua says there is an urgent need for policymakers to ensure that stringent regulations are followed to reduce unnecessary high costs due to poor adoption of new technologies without the involvement of experts and mandatory training for the users.

He notes that sellers and owners of egg incubators in most cases, have not been trained on hatching techniques, management of parent stock (chickens which produce eggs for hatching), and strict adherence to the vaccination program.

Dr Mbugua is of the view that distribution of incubators to poultry groups by MCAs and other political leaders in the counties was mainly motivated by creating political mileage among poor farmers who are the main keepers of indigenous chicken.

He was speaking to KNA Wednesday, during an interview in Nakuru town.

Dr Mbugua further said poor incubator hygiene has led to challenges facing poultry farmers. These include, egg transmissible diseases such as salmonella, fungi infections, colibacillosis, and unregulated optimum temperature, which is crucial to prevent the spread of chronic diseases that tend to occur soon after brooding.

“Yes, some diseases which were not in certain counties have been reported, through widespread delivery of chicks. Incubator owners need training on hatching techniques, management of parent stock and vaccination regime plus care of vaccines,” says Dr Mbugua.

He regretted that the management of poultry farming has been, needlessly, infiltrated by quacks who sell incubators without any knowledge of their management and vaccinations which are displayed on shelves instead of coolers due to lack of clear regulatory measures.

He noted that the relegation of veterinary experts to the backwoods was a sure way of increasing zoonotic diseases like the current coronavirus due to unprofessional handling of animals, poultry and seafoods.

By Veronica Bosibori

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